May 5th 2018
The Western Washington Chapter of the Fulbright Association organized an all Fulbright Alumni, visiting students, scholars, friends and families hike to the grandeur of the Cascade Mountains on May 5th to kick off the hiking season of 2018.
Our trip for the day began with assembly at the Greenlake Park & Ride, at 9 am. Following the registration and we then board on a reserved Starline bus all excited for the day ahead. 36 of us including families and children had showed up for the day. It was a good turnout.
After about a 45 minutes bus ride along the I 90 highway we came to the first halt of the day: The Cedar River Watershed Habitat Conservation Educational center. There we were met by two of our alumni, who then briefed us about our plans for the day.
Cedar River Watershed Education Center
Rain drum courtyard
Stepping out of the bus, I could hear the sound of drums being played in the distance. A music similar to traditional Native American music, was being played. It reminded me of the original owners of this land, I am standing on. Their lives and culture, so rich and magnificent, yet remains unexplored, unheard and rarely spoken about.
Lush green forest, miles away from the city and pristine water of Rattlesnake Lake on your right. Truly a nature lover’s paradise.
We were later guided towards the educational center, on the porch were the drums, and masterpiece of a musical art giant. The drums were placed in meticulous positions with water fountains sprouting at an orchestrated pattern- resonating of a proficient orchestra playing their favorite tunes.
In the Cedar River Watershed Education Center, we were welcomed by Anna Constance, an expert and guide for 8 years, she gave us a detailed, intricate briefing of the history, importance and overview of the watershed program.
Cedar River Watershed Education Center was built in the year 2001, with an architecture to reflect the history of the land while standing as a model of sustainability. Sweeping views of Rattlesnake ledge is visible right outside the deck.
Rattle Snake Recreation area includes Rattlesnake ledge, a distinct rock formation chiseled by ice and time and Rattlesnake Lake- a sparkling turquoise oasis. It is a great place to escape from the hustle and noise of the city, ad to enjoy hiking, swimming, and picnicking.
Seattle Public Utilities’ Watershed Management Division manages the overall watershed area of over 100,000 acres of land covered by forests, Cedar river, South Fork Tolt River Municipal Watersheds and hills in the Central Cascades.
The water collected here serves as the source of clean, clear, reliable drinking water for over 1.4 million people of greater Seattle area, supplying over 100 million gallons over water every day.
Ollalie State Park
After the orientation we had a small time window to observe the exhibits of the center and a time for a group picture with Rattlesnake ledge on the background. Then we hopped on our buses towards the Ollalie State Park.
We stopped for a quick lunch from our breakfasts at the foot of the park. The benches were in middle of grasses with early blooms of spring and Southfork Snoqualmie river flowing nearby. I almost forgot that I was even hungry, and spent most of times on the bank of river, taking pictures of the nature, trying to catch the sound of each waves.